If you look up the definition of “sandwich generation,” you’ll find it is traditionally defined as someone caring for a living parent and a child under the age of 18. Hence, you are sandwiched together in your caregiving responsibilities, ensuring the care and safety for two very different people with two very distinct needs.
In reality, if this sounds like you, your “sandwich” is probably a lot “thicker” than what you care to admit. Maybe you are caring for both of your parents. Or your parents and your in-laws. Maybe you still have grandparents alive and in need of a little TLC. Maybe you have two or three kids going in all different ways. Maybe your job requires 110 percent, including overtime. And your spouse? Yep, they need a little attention too.
And unfortunately, something has to give. You simply can’t keep up with it all. What can you do?
Ever laugh at New Year’s resolutions, wishing you could set a few priorities once a year and work on them all year through? Do you update your to-do list weekly with demands changing all the time? That’s the reality of many in a sandwich situation. Certain items require more commitment at certain times. And sometimes it’s a battle between which priority you work on first. Realize your priority list will never be completely checked off. You’ll never fit everything in. That means focusing in on doing only the things that are most important. That means letting many things go that don’t fit that bill. [Read more…]